I’ve always wanted to come up with a good and good-for-you granola bar to replace the candy “granola” bars from the store (which my kids prefer). I have two recipes that I like: the first is one I’ve made several times in the past few years and really enjoyed. The second was a mistake I made earlier this week when I didn’t have all of the first ingredients. I think I might like it better than the first recipe (isn’t that just the way it works?).

These bars end up more like the original crunchy health-food kind of granola bars. Here’s my first basic recipe:

Granola Bars, Take 1

1 cup oats

1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup coconut, toasted
2/3 cup honey
1 cup chocolate chips, nuts, and/or dried fruit of choice
3 Tbsp powdered milk
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 12 pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add honey and mix through, then pat down into pan. (Grease your fingers and press the mixture down tightly with your fingers.) Bake at 250 degrees for 1/2 hour. 
If you find you’re out of rice cereal and powdered milk and you only have a tiny bit of honey (but you have other ingredients to play with), you can still make yummy granola bars as follows:
Granola Bars, Take 2
1 cup oats
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup toasted coconut
2/3 cup sweetener (about half honey, half maple syrup…would probably work with your favorite sweetener…)
1 cup yummies…I included mini chocolate chips, chopped almonds, and dried currants
Mix oats, coconut, chocolate chips, fruit, and almonds in a bowl. Stir in sweetener and mix well, then pat mixture down tightly into greased 9 x 12 pan and bake at 250 for 1/2 hour.
For either of these recipes, once you remove the pan from the oven, allow the bars to cool and set for a while before cutting. I cut them into serving sizes and wrap in wax paper, then tuck them into kids’ lunches (or snack on them when blogging at 1 am)!

Have you ever made granola bars? What other ingredients do you like to add?